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by Jacob O'Bryant

Onboarding flow

I'm in the middle of implementing the fancy new submission/onboarding flow. It'll have four steps:

  1. Confirm the newsletter URL, title, and description. (Complete)
  2. Enable a subscriber import integration OR confirm that you're ok with us sending you an alert whenever you have subscribers so you can import them manually. (In progress)
  3. With the subscriber-import-method out of the way, we then use that method to add the address to your list.
  4. Optionally join the cross-promotion/sponsorship newsletter directory. The directory has been a separate experiment for a while; now I'm going to integrate it directly into The Sample. The weekly directory emails will become part of this publisher report (i.e. if you decide to join the directory, then we'll add a new "directory" section, probably right before the Announcements section).

Next item of business: as discussed last week, I've decided to pull the plug on the Substack recommendations integration :(. For cross-promotion to be sustainable, each subscriber we receive needs to subscribe to at least one newsletter we send them on average. So far we've received 149 subscribers from Substack recommendations, and as a group they've only had 8 one-click subscribes. So the average-one-click-subscribes-per-user (ASPU?) is 0.05. In comparison, earlier this week we ran an ad that has resulted in 135 new subscribers, and the ASPU for them is already at 0.52.

As such, I'm going to delete the publication soon. At least it was a fun experiment! None of you should need to do anything. If you've added it to your recommendations, I'm assuming it'll just disappear on its own. If Substack ever decides to change their recommendations UI as I described last week so that signing up for recommended newsletters requires more intention, I'd probably be down to try the experiment again.

Now, on the bright side: our experiments with newsletter advertising are looking promising. We've ran a couple ads recently (like the one I mentioned above), and the average amount of revenue we've received per subscriber so far is $2.08 and $2.85, respectively. Those numbers will increase as time goes on. If we can consistently make back $3 or $4 per subscriber we get from advertising, that might make The Sample scalable.

Speaking of which, if you've enabled paid forwards, you may have noticed an increase in forwards/subs starting this week. That's why! You can see on the performance page (second chart) the increase in paid subs and their average cost.

Published 18 Jul 2022

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